Roy Exum: Buy A Cup For The Wall

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I don’t know how we are going to do this or where we are going to do it but I’m “all in.” I have a great friend in Dallas who is keen about the very things that “pull my trigger” and the other day he shared a story that begs to be repeated in every town across our country.

The author of the story is unknown – I’d adore to give him or her credit – but the idea behind it dates all the way back to when the Bible was written. This is just in a modern-day context. All we have to do is find a wall …

* * *

I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in Venice Beach near Los Angeles. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at a table beside us.

He called the waiter and placed his order saying, Two cups of coffee, with one of them for the wall.

We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee, but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying "A Cup of Coffee."

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one for the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same. He pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, "A Cup of Coffee."

It seemed that this gesture was a norm at this place. However, it was something unique and perplexing for us. Since we had nothing to do with the matter, we finished our coffee, paid the bill, and left.

After a few days, we again had a chance to go to this coffee shop. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man entered. The way this man was dressed did not match the standard nor the atmosphere of this coffee shop.

Poverty was evident from the looks on his face. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, "one cup of coffee from the wall." The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.

The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this when the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the waste basket. Now the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town welled up our eyes with tears.

Coffee is not a need of our society, nor a necessity of life. The point to note is that when we take pleasure in any blessing, maybe we also need to think about those people who appreciate that specific blessing as much as we do, but they cannot afford it.

Note the character of this waiter, who is playing a consistent and generous role who helped the needy with a smile on his face. Also ponder upon this man in need. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem asking for a free cup of coffee. He only needs to look at the wall.

Along with the other characters, we need to remember the role played by the wall that reflects the generosity and care of the dwellers of this town.

Let’s start a wall in every coffee shop that’s willing. What an idea! Or is it a blessing?



Policeman: Modern Day "Boogie Man"

As a child I was under the impression that a ghastly, grotesque creature had taken up residence in my bedroom closet, the proverbial “Boogie Man” I suppose.  This is not an uncommon thing among children and most likely to some fault of my own as I subjected myself to some pretty iconic 1980’s horror flicks. There were other kids in the neighborhood that not only claimed to ... (click for more)

Why Ferguson Matters In Chattanooga

The recent verdict in Ferguson has thrown race relations in the spotlight again. It is far too easy to get caught up in the debate as to who was right. But the plain fact is that the community lost, the police force lost and the nation lost. So why does Ferguson matter in Chattanooga? Because a police force mainly composed of whites got into a conflict with a community mainly ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Kiser Post-Conviction Hearing To Resume April 6

A post-conviction hearing in which Marlon Duane Kiser is seeking a new trial in the 2001 slaying of Deputy Donald Bond will resume April 6. Attorneys for Kiser, who is on Death Row, said they have additional witnesses to call. Kiser on Tuesday took the witness stand for the first time, blaming the killing on the man he was living with at the time - Mike Chattin. Chattin, who ... (click for more)

UTC Men Defeat Robert Morris, 61-46

For the Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team, it’s good to be home. Just ask sophomore point guard Greg Pryor whose 13 points, including a trio of   3–pointers sparked a second half offensive surge as the Mocs defeated visiting Robert Morris (Pa.), 61-46 Wednesday afternoon in McKenzie Arena. The Mocs (2-3) advance to Thursday’s championship game at noon of the ... (click for more)

McCallie Continues Winning Ways At Lee Tournament

McCallie used balanced scoring on Wednesday at the Lee Invitational to stay undefeated. Fourteen players scored for the Blue Tornado as they defeated Walker Valley 58-45. Adrian Thomas had 8 and Jordan Atkins 7. Alex Clark and Jonathan Hewitt tallied 6 apiece. McCallie trailed 23-22 at halftime, but put up 27 points in the third quarter while holding Walker Valley to 6. ... (click for more)